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Books Recommended by Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is a renowned Canadian journalist, author, storyteller and public speaker.

He’s the author of five bestselling books, and has a sixth on the way: “Talking to Strangers” (will be out in September 2019).

Gladwell took his bachelor’s in history and, in the late ’80s, he was hired by The Washington Post as a business and science writer. Since 1996, he has been a staff writer at the New Yorker.

He became known for two articles he published on The New Yorker in 1996: The Tipping Point and The Coolhunt. They became the basis of his first book, The Tipping Point, which was published four years later. The initial inspiration for this book came from the sudden drop of crime in New York City. He wanted the book to have a broader appeal than just crime, so he also explained similar phenomena, such as epidemiology.

Then, in 2005, Malcolm published Blink, his second book, which explains how our unconscious interprets events or cues. In this book, it is argued that past experiences can lead us to make decisions in a very short amount of time, using examples such as the likelihood of divorce. Gladwell stated that this book was inspired by the time after he let his hair grow. As soon as his hair grew longer, he started getting speeding tickets all the time, an oddity considering that he had never gotten one before, and that he started getting pulled out of airport security lines for special attention. Both Blink, as well as his first book, sold over 2 million copies each.

Two years later, Gladwell published Outliers, which popularized the 10,000 hour rule: the idea that you need 10,000 hours of practice to master a skill. He looked at how important a person’s environment is, affecting its motivation and possibility to success.

In 2009, Malcolm released his fourth book, titled ‘What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures‘, which is a collection of Gladwell’s favourite articles from The New Yorker.

His fifth book, ‘David and Goliath‘, was released in 2013 and it examines the struggle of underdogs versus favorites.

Malcolm is also popular for introducing the concept of The Talent Myth that many companies incorrectly follow. He states that managers and superiors classify employees without ample performance records, for example this being an advantage for narcissists. They will take the credit for the achievements, won’t take it for the failures. Gladwell states that the system rewarding “stars” only worsens the company’s position.

Gladwell was also a national class runner and among Canada’s fastest teens at 1,500 meters.

Since 2016, Gladwell has been hosting the podcast Revisionist History, each episode beginning with an inquiry about a person, event, or idea, and proceeds to question the received wisdom about the subject.

He is also the co-founder of the podcast company Pushkin Industries.

He teaches a writing class at Masterclass, and he’s also a book curator at the Next Big Idea Club.

His sixth book, ‘Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know‘, will be released in September 2019.

All books recommended or written by Malcolm Gladwell: